Develop your niche content and rule the world

The best piece of business advice we ever got was: Just pick one thing… and do it well! It’s good advice for business in general and for you if you work in education.

It’s about developing deep domain knowledge in a niche market – in an educational niche market. Stop regurgitating what others have done. Or at least put your own original spin on it…

In our case it’s about online and print resources for literacy and numeracy professional development and training. In another life it’s about teaching tutors and trainers to embed literacy and numeracy into vocational training.

Doing education is essentially a translating and interpreting job.

You need to be the interpreter… the translator… What you understand and know is like a foreign language for others. Even though it’s like the air you breath and the water you drink for you.

Can you break your message down into simple parts and communicate it in language that your learners will understand? We think you can. Perhaps you are already doing this. Then do it better… Then rethink it all and do it better again.

Slow down. Stop speaking in freakn’ acronyms. Stop making assumptions about what people know. Be a learner too. Ask questions. Interact. Engage.

Find out what people know. Find out what the demands of their contexts are. Adapt your training. Evolve. Reinvent the wheel.

One piece of specialised content knowledge that has worked in our training is a simple approach to writing learning outcomes.

We have a formula that allows vocational and trades tutors to write learning outcomes that help them embed the literacy and numeracy skills that they need for their learners.

Another is starting with the big picture when it comes to doing our professional develop.

We’ll share these with you soon. For now it’s enough to ask a few more questions:

  • What do you know that gets results in your field of expertise?
  • How can you communicate the most effective 20% of what you know to your key customers and end-users?
  • What kind of interpreting work does your No.1 customer need you to do to address their “pain points”?
  • How can you translate your specialised content knowledge for your end users?

Author: Graeme Smith

Education, technology, design. Also making cool stuff...

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